Table of Contents

VOLUME XIX.3 May + June 2012

  • Demo Hour
    • Demo hour

      Young-Woo Park, Sungjae Hwang, Tek-Jin Nam, Narae Lee, Ju-Whan Kim, Jungsoo Lee, Myeongsoo Shin, Woohun Lee, L. A. Hilte, Koen Beljaars, Sharon van der Geest, Roy van den Heuvel, Bas van Hoeve

      Demo hour

      Poke Poke is a way of sharing emotional touches over phone calls. It delivers touches through an inflatable surface on one side of the phone and receives finger-pressure inputs on the opposite side of the phone, all while allowing callers to maintain a conventional phone-calling posture. Poke provides three…

  • Blogpost
    • Finding the sweet spot of design

      Uday Gajendar

      Finding the sweet spot of design

      Not long ago, during a tense conference call at a high-tech firm, a project manager suggested exploring the capabilities of technologies available for building a product. The aim: finding out, at the outset of the project, what would be feasible to build. The UX lead responded, "But that's not…

  • Departments
    • Feedback

      Danielle Wilde, Kristina Höök, Danielle Wilde


      RE: A cry for more tech at CHI The Blogpost in the March + April issue of interactions by Kristina Höök, technical program chair for CHI 2012, struck a nerve. While the column starts out well, the direction it heads down isn't that fruitful. Here's my view: People don't…

    • Community calendar 2011

      INTR Staff

      Community calendar 2011

      May 2012 CHI 2012 - ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Austin, TX) Conference Date: May 5-10, 2012 UX Lx - User Experience 2012 (Lisbon, Portugal) Conference Date: May 16–18, 2012 The 6th International ICST Conference on Pervasive Computing Technologies for Healthcare (San Diego,…

    • SIGCHI

      Gerrit van der Veer

      CHI 2012 in Austin, Texas (May 5–10), marks the 30th anniversary of our society. The first conference, on Human Factors in Computer Systems, took place in Gaithersburg, Maryland, on March 15–17, 1982. The second and third conferences were a year and a half apart, and from then on CHI,…

  • Columns
    • Impact!

      Elizabeth Churchill


      Like most seven-year-olds, I was fascinated by dinosaurs—perhaps even more fascinated by their sudden demise at the end of the Mesozoic era 65 million years ago. It was in the context of this conundrum that I forged my understanding of the word impact. According to, impact implies "the…

    • Click a bird on it

      Jonathan Bean

      Click a bird on it

      In a piece published in Fast Company last December, design thinker Bruce Nussbaum described a phenomenon he branded indie capitalism [1]. We've all seen its manifestations: that new yarn shop down the street, the craft brew suddenly in every hot restaurant, that guy at the farmer's market with the…

    • Interface, then and now

      Eli Blevis

      Interface, then and now

      Image Contributor: Eli Blevis Genre: Reflection on the constancy of function and the disposability of form over time, as induced by changing technologies. Pictured is a very rare (circa. 1960) watch dial—a kind of interface for time telling. The design includes chronograph sub-dials—a kind of interface for time keeping,…

  • Day in the Lab
    • ID-StudioLab Delft University of Technology

      Thomas Visser, Pieter Stappers

      ID-StudioLab Delft University of Technology

      How do you describe your lab to visitors? ID-StudioLab is part of the Industrial Design Engineering department at Delft University of Technology, arguably the largest academic design institute in the world, with about 2,000 students and 200 staff. As the name suggests, ID-StudioLab combines research with a studio atmosphere.…

  • Forums
    • HCI and sustainability

      Jennifer Mankoff

      In 2006, when I began working in the area of sustainability, it was still a blip on the radar at conferences like CHI. Since then it has been the topic of numerous well-received papers, workshops, and special-interest groups. And following this success have come the first questions about what…

    • The living heritage of historic crises

      Sophia Liu

      The living heritage of historic crises

      What do you remember about the 1984 gas leak at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India? My guess is that if you do not know much about it, you would probably Google it. The first search result would most likely be the "Bhopal disaster" Wikipedia article [1].…

    • Motivating change with mobile

      Margaret Morris

      Motivating change with mobile

      People are becoming more resourceful in the ways they use their mobile devices to take care of themselves. This can be explained by the convergence of three major forces: the rise in chronic disease, decreased access to clinical care, and staggering innovation in mobile technology. Phones and other mobile…

    • HCI public policy activities in 2012

      Jonathan Lazar, Julio Abascal, Janet Davis, Vanessa Evers, Jan Gulliksen, Joaquim Jorge, Tom McEwan, Fabio Paternò, Hans Persson, Raquel Prates, Hans von Axelson, Marco Winckler, Volker Wulf

      Public policy has always had an impact on the work we do as HCI educators, practitioners, and researchers. Many different bodies, including multinational governments (such as the E.U.), national governments, local governments, and international non-governmental organizations (such as the World Wide Web Consortium and the United Nations) influence public…

    • What can Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive teach us about designing?

      Hugh Dubberly

      What can Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive teach us about designing?

      The day after Steve Jobs died, my friend Rich Binell, another Apple alum, asked, "Why did Steve Jobs's passing affect us more than the passing of other notable people?" Of course, Jobs changed the world, and many of us were moved by his work. How did he do it?…

  • Features
    • Technologies for aging gracefully

      Ronald Baecker, Karyn Moffatt, Michael Massimi

      Technologies for aging gracefully

      We all know the world is aging. Yet the figures are staggering. The United Nations recently quantified the phenomenon as follows: Whereas 5.2 percent of the population was over 65 in the year 1950, this percentage is projected to grow to 15.9 percent in 2050, to 27.5 percent by…

    • Interaction as performance

      Steve Benford, Gabriella Giannachi

      Interaction as performance

      There is a fascinating and potentially deeply productive relationship between interaction design, theater, and performance. On the one hand, interaction designers are increasingly involved with artistic experiences in which participants perform with computers to express themselves or to engage in a cultural experience. On the other hand, the spread…

    • From plastic to pixels

      Leah Findlater, Jacob Wobbrock

      From plastic to pixels

      Touchscreen devices have exploded onto the commercial stage in the past decade, most prolifically in smartphones, but in other forms as well, including tablets and interactive tabletops. While touchscreen devices have enormous appeal, one drawback is clear to anyone who has entered more than a few characters on one:…

    • Circles and props

      Kristina Andersen, Danielle Wilde

      Circles and props

      How will you go about finding that thing the nature of which is totally unknown to you? —Meno, from Plato's dialogue (in Solnit [1]) Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. —Arthur C. Clarke [2] It is almost impossible to imagine what lies ahead. What will the future…

    • Rethinking HCI education

      Željko Obrenović

      Rethinking HCI education

      Interactive computing technologies such as sensors, actuators, and interactive graphical displays have become increasingly common in cars, household equipment, and other consumer products. As such, industrial and product design professionals, traditionally concerned with the physical form and material properties of products, must now take into account issues related to…

    • Rapid design labs

      Jim Nieters, Amit Pande

      Rapid design labs

      Have you ever had a big idea that got crushed? You know, one of those inspiring ideas that could change the world? If you work in a product or design group in a corporation or design firm, you have probably experienced what happens after you share one those ideas.…

  • Cover story
    • Interactions with big data analytics

      Danyel Fisher, Rob DeLine, Mary Czerwinski, Steven Drucker

      Interactions with big data analytics

      "When times are mysterious Serious numbers will speak to us always. That is why a man with numbers Can put your mind at ease. We've got numbers by the trillions Here and overseas." —Paul Simon, "When Numbers Get Serious," 1983 Increasingly in the 21st century, our daily lives leave…